Softball wins two of three fall games

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Birmingham-Southern softball team won two of its three games in the 'Southern Softball Fall Classic against Bevill State Community College, Sunday afternoon at the Birmingham Thunderbolts Softball Complex. The fall tournament originally included Gadsden State and Shelton State, but both were unable to make the tournament due to inclement weather.

In game one, sophomore hurler Ronni Ferris went the distance, pitching a shutout while allowing only two hits, striking out three, and walking one as the Panthers beat Bevill State 1-0.
After playing six-and-a-half scoreless innings, BSC won the game in the bottom of the seventh. Jena Franks led off the inning with a single up the middle, and Beth Lefler followed with a single through the left side. Tori Harris delivered the game-winning double down the line, plating Franks in dramatic fashion. Harris is a senior for the Panthers who transferred just last season after playing at Bevill State for two years.

The Panthers dug themselves a hole too deep to come out of in game two after allowing Bevill to score four unearned runs in the first two innings. BSC ended up losing 5-1. Harris took the loss, pitching four innings and giving up four unearned runs, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Junior college transfer Katie Mason pitched two innings in relief, allowing one run, two hits, two walks, and striking out two.

Ferris scored the only Panther run after reaching base on an error, stealing second base, and scoring on a two-out base hit up the middle by Lefler in the top of the third. The next two batters walked to load the bases for freshman Chelsea Fernandez to come to the plate. After reaching a full count, Fernandez flied out in foul territory to the third baseman to end the inning. BSC would not threaten to score the rest of the game. Lefler produced the only hit for the Panthers going 1-for-2 with the lone RBI in the game.

In game three, the Panthers displayed resilience with a come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the seventh as BSC captured the win. Freshman outfielder Danielle Rucker reached base on an error with one out to start the rally. Junior transfer Regan Bates plated Rucker on a single to right center. As the right fielder attempted a throw to the plate, Bates slid safely into scoring position at second base. Freshman Misha Aldridge hit a single up the middle to score Bates to tie the game. Beth Lefler came up next to sacrifice herself to move the runners into scoring position by laying down a bunt to the third baseman. Ashley Bice then stepped up to the plate and hit a rocket into the right center gap to score Bates and win the game.

Lefler threw four scoreless innings before allowing Bevill to score one run in the top of the fifth and six innings. She gave up only two runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking three batters. Ferris came in and struck out the final five batters of the game.